Australian supermarket chain uses blockchain to trace food origins

847
blockchain food

Australia’s largest independent grocery retailer will begin using blockchain technology to track meat from their supplier’s paddock to a customers plate.

Drakes Supermarkets and its meat supplier Thomas Foods International have signed on as members of the IBM Food Trust blockchain platform.

The two companies have been testing the IBM blockchain food solution for the past three months and will now move to a full-scale pilot program.

“The greater level of granularity since adopting IBM Food Trust has enabled the traceability of a food package across the supply chain, reducing the time required to identify the origin of a product from days to just seconds,” said Drakes Supermarket spokesperson Tim Cartwright.

During the testing phase a piece of Angus scotch fillet steak for sale at drakes supermarkets was successfully traced back to one of four farms using data recorded on IBM’s immutable distributed ledger.

“We see blockchain as a potentially game-changing technology for food traceability,” said Head of Blockchain at IBM Australia and New Zealand, Rupert Colchester.

“Drakes and Thomas Foods have demonstrated how different players in a single supply chain can securely share data and key events, bridging organisational boundaries for the good of both consumers and the benefit of their own business processes.

“We expect to see more of this collaboration in the coming year, with groups of partners working together for the benefit of the entire food industry.

“Transparency and traceability are the key to many industries now, and none more so than in the critical issues of food safety and provenance.”

The IBM Food Trust platform is expected to be particularly valuable for food retailers in the event of emergency product recalls and food safety incidents.

Customers and staff will be able to use the distributed ledger to quickly and accurately identify at-risk products and their origins.